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Research: Healthy aging in couples

The UGA Dept. of Kinesiology is recruiting adults between 60 and 80 with their romantic partners to participate in a study of their physical activity habits,  relationship quality, and support behaviors. Must be currently romantically involved, living together and community dwelling. The study requires an initial online screening, and if eligible, two visits to the lab in the Ramsey Center. Participants will wear a physical activity tracker and complete an individual interview and questionnaires. $50 stipends available. Email Rachel Salyer at CHAMPS.UGA.17@gmail.com.

Is it time to rethink how much you drink?

Experts are paying more attention to the adverse effects of alcohol on the aging brain. With age, our ability to metabolize alcohol declines so a drink in your 70s raises your blood alcohol higher than when you were in your 30s. Add in the medications older adults take, and it can be a bad combination. Experts say to think about when you drink alcohol and why. If you want to cut back, try keeping a drinking diary, keep alcohol out of the house; dilute and drink slowly, drink only with meals, establish alcohol-free days. Finally, older men over 65 should be aware the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends they limit alcohol use to no more than a single drink a day.

Silent heart attacks

Nearly half of those who have a heart attack don’t realize it at the time. These so-called silent myocardial infarctions (SMI) are diagnosed after the event, according to the Harvard health Letter. Non-classic symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, heartburn, sweating. They strike men more than women and can be so mild or mistaken for a less serious problem that men will ignore them. Those that have an SMI and don’t get treatment have a three times greater risk of dying from coronary artery disease.

Lose weight with small, specific goals

With the new year come the weight-loss resolutions. Experts say give yourself a realistic goal of a 5 to 10 percent weight loss, and realize most people take at least six months to achieve that. They say to set specific and short-term goals such as:

I will choose a few dinner recipes and shop for ingredients on Sunday; I will bring a healthy lunch from home instead of going out; I will call a friend to talk a walk on Monday and Wednesday; I will decrease exposure to problematic food; I will eat breakfast and eat it slowly.

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